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Options for ipad music app interface / dock


RandyFF
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This is needed primarily to gain additional sounds from the ipad for live playing. I use the camera connection kit now.

 

Recently picked up the Scarbee EP for Korg Module, and the Neo Soul Keys STUDIO, also for EPs. Love both of them, esp the Neo Soul Keys Studio, major upgrade from my keyboard EPs.

 

The obvious interface would be Korg Plugkeys:

- no dangling headphone cable on ipad, plus a volume knob for its audio output (very handy)

- can charge ipad at same time

 

Ideally though, i wouldnt mind spending more and getting a dock that the ipad is inserted into. This seems ideal, as it protects the iPad somewhat, and gives me additional interface capability if i want to record into the ipad (not my primary objective at this point) and be able to link various MIDI devices (the PlugKey has din MIDI in but no out).

 

- Behringer dock: would be excellent, but its for 30 pin ipads

- Alexis IO dock 2: not sure about this one, the only reasonable contender i know about in the insertable dock category, but its getting on 4 years old and didnt read reviews of people using it for my purpose (it seems to be all about recording)

 

So any suggestions. My criteria:

- Simplest, smallest setup possible

- Volume control for audio output

- Insertable dock format most desirable

 

There seems to be an unlimited # of audio interfaces, some with MIDI, but very few that are focused like the Plugkey is on getting a controller sending MIDI to the iPad and having convenient audio outputs with volume control and charging for the iPad. Maybe some of these many audio and MIDi interfaces would meet my criteria, but its hard to tell.

 

Recently bought a used iPad Pro 9.7, $300 used!, which gives me a fair amount of CPU power. Am probably going to pick up the Syntronik synth app from IK Multimedia. Am thrilled that i dont have to go the laptop route to get more high quality sounds for playing live. Theres some kick ass music apps thatve come out for the ipad, and theyre just the beginning of the iPad as a serious sound module.

 

Thanks,

Randy

 

PS Didnt want to start another thread just for this question:

? Who is the Italian keyboard demo guy who did the best ever keyboard demo (for Yamaha Motif XF expansion sounds, not sure if it was new samples or just new presets)? By far the best ever, want to see more of him, he did studio quality renditions of many songs

 

 

Kawai ES110 & ES920 /// Casio CT-X5000

Yamaha Melodica and Alto Recorder

QSC K8.2 // JBL Eon One Compact // Klipsch KMC 3 // Win10 laptop i7 8GB // iPad Pro 9.7" 32GB

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Other than the ones you mention, Focusrite makes the iTrack dock, which seems pretty nice, and probably would be my choice for this application.

 

I have a korg plugkey, and it works well.

 

Another to checkout would be the irig pro duo, has the midi in/out.

 

Korg Kronos X73 / ARP Odyssey / Motif ES Rack / Roland D-05 / JP-08 / SE-05 / Jupiter Xm / Novation Mininova / NL2X / Waldorf Pulse II

MBP-LOGIC

American Deluxe P-Bass, Yamaha RBX760

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I have a Focusrite iTrack dock and its great. One thing to bear in mind, though, is its usb midi in only and its a bit fussy about which controllers it works with. It works fine with the Novation Launchkey 61 that I had when I bought it. Focusrite have some info on their website about what works with it here:

 

https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/articles/207546345-Which-USB-MIDI-devices-can-I-use-with-the-iTrack-Dock-

 

Nord Electro 6D 61, Hammond SK2, Wurlitzer EP200A, Neo Mini Vent, Neo Vent II, EV ZLX12P
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Other than the ones you mention, Focusrite makes the iTrack dock, which seems pretty nice, and probably would be my choice for this application.

 

I have a korg plugkey, and it works well.

 

Another to checkout would be the irig pro duo, has the midi in/out.

 

Rod,

The problem with the Focusrite iPad dock is it doesnt look like it securely holds the iPad in place, but otherwise would probably be the best contender. Ive got an extremely minimalist setup, using 1 keyboard, and the iPad rests up against the keyboard music holder- not the most secure way to go! But theres no other place to put it. I could conceivably jerry rig a strap/Velcro of some type for peace of mind.

 

Ill look into the iRig Pro Duo, looks promising. It says it uses bus power from a computer but doesnt specify that for an ipad/iPhone. One less thing to fiddle with. Looks like it has both midi in and out!

Thanks!

Kawai ES110 & ES920 /// Casio CT-X5000

Yamaha Melodica and Alto Recorder

QSC K8.2 // JBL Eon One Compact // Klipsch KMC 3 // Win10 laptop i7 8GB // iPad Pro 9.7" 32GB

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I have a Focusrite iTrack dock and its great. One thing to bear in mind, though, is its usb midi in only and its a bit fussy about which controllers it works with. It works fine with the Novation Launchkey 61 that I had when I bought it. Focusrite have some info on their website about what works with it here:

 

https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/articles/207546345-Which-USB-MIDI-devices-can-I-use-with-the-iTrack-Dock-

 

Thanks! The support link was helpful, i just sent an enquiry to know if itll work with my Casio MZ-X500.

 

Im just surprised there arent more ipad docks, and the only 2 available came out about 4 years ago.

Kawai ES110 & ES920 /// Casio CT-X5000

Yamaha Melodica and Alto Recorder

QSC K8.2 // JBL Eon One Compact // Klipsch KMC 3 // Win10 laptop i7 8GB // iPad Pro 9.7" 32GB

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I have a Focusrite iTrack dock and its great. One thing to bear in mind, though, is its usb midi in only and its a bit fussy about which controllers it works with. It works fine with the Novation Launchkey 61 that I had when I bought it. Focusrite have some info on their website about what works with it here:

 

https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/articles/207546345-Which-USB-MIDI-devices-can-I-use-with-the-iTrack-Dock-

 

Thanks! The support link was helpful, i just sent an enquiry to know if itll work with my Casio MZ-X500.

 

Im just surprised there arent more ipad docks, and the only 2 available came out about 4 years ago.

 

It surprises me too but I guess one of the main problems is that Apple pretty much changes the dimensions of it's iPads every year, so it's not long before any dock runs into compatibility problems.

Nord Electro 6D 61, Hammond SK2, Wurlitzer EP200A, Neo Mini Vent, Neo Vent II, EV ZLX12P
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I use an iConnect Audio. Flexible, does MIDI and audio, and allows you to connect an iOS and "regular" computer at the same time, routing between the two and the audio ins and outs.

 

I'd stay away from docking solutions due to the changing form factors between iPad generations.

 

Yes, but i think some of them have connectors in the dock that can be moved up or down. For dock use id love something that could accomadate a full size ipad and a mini.

 

Which iConnect audio product do you have? They have a lot listed, most of them in large and or rack mount configuration. Surprisingly, they dont do simple diagrams to let you see what typical setups might be.

 

Kawai ES110 & ES920 /// Casio CT-X5000

Yamaha Melodica and Alto Recorder

QSC K8.2 // JBL Eon One Compact // Klipsch KMC 3 // Win10 laptop i7 8GB // iPad Pro 9.7" 32GB

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Well, for what it's worth I use an Alesis iO Dock 2 with an iPad 2, bought from a fellow Forumite. The connections are really solid, tight even. I think there are aftermarket frames or inserts you can buy to accommodate the new, smaller iPads, and it came with several connectors.

 

I use it to run Korg Module with an Alesis QS8.2 for rehearsals and it's great.

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I use an iConnect Audio. Flexible, does MIDI and audio, and allows you to connect an iOS and "regular" computer at the same time, routing between the two and the audio ins and outs.

 

I'd stay away from docking solutions due to the changing form factors between iPad generations.

 

Yes, but i think some of them have connectors in the dock that can be moved up or down. For dock use id love something that could accomadate a full size ipad and a mini.

 

Which iConnect audio product do you have? They have a lot listed, most of them in large and or rack mount configuration. Surprisingly, they dont do simple diagrams to let you see what typical setups might be.

 

I used an iConnect MIDI for a while, and am now on an iConnectAudio 4+.

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I know that this does not tick all your boxes, so please bear with me:

 

As a different, but still flexible and rather simple approach I have started using my Roland Boutique A-01 module as a bluetooth midi interface. I am not fond of fiddling with the iPad touchscreen while playing - this way I can put the iPad anywhere I like, and charge it as well. The A-01 lets me program four rotary knobs as app synth controllers (e.g. master volume), plus it has two ribbon controllers that make up for the missing wheels on the Nord Electro 3 that I use as keyboard controller. I am still trying to figure out how to make the most of its (many) other features.

 

The A-01 is discontinued, I think, but at least here in Scandinavia you can still find it at (very) reduced prices.

 

Cheers, Morten

 

Edited: Typos

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I use an iConnect Audio. Flexible, does MIDI and audio, and allows you to connect an iOS and "regular" computer at the same time, routing between the two and the audio ins and outs.

 

I'd stay away from docking solutions due to the changing form factors between iPad generations.

 

Yes, but i think some of them have connectors in the dock that can be moved up or down. For dock use id love something that could accomadate a full size ipad and a mini.

 

Which iConnect audio product do you have? They have a lot listed, most of them in large and or rack mount configuration. Surprisingly, they dont do simple diagrams to let you see what typical setups might be.

 

I used an iConnect MIDI for a while, and am now on an iConnectAudio 4+.

 

+1

 

iConnectAudio 2+ and 4+ are the most versatile iPad/iPhone/PC/MAC interfaces you can possibly find. Their sound quality is very close to my RME Multiface. iConnectAudio 2+ in particular is difficult to beat in terms of price, quality and flexibility. No camera connection kit needed. And it charges the iPhone/iPad.

LIFE IS SHORT, GO GET THE GEAR YOU WANT ;-)

 

 

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iConnectAudio 2+ and 4+ are the most versatile iPad/iPhone/PC/MAC interfaces you can possibly find. Their sound quality is very close to my RME Multiface. iConnectAudio 2+ in particular is difficult to beat in terms of price, quality and flexibility. No camera connection kit needed. And it charges the iPhone/iPad.

 

+1. Superb interface.

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Make sure you get the Lightning cable, though when I bought mine, it wasn't included in all configurations. It's proprietary (Lightning > USB-B), and kinda pricey.

 

The proprietary iConnectivity lightning cable is only needed for iConnectAudio 4+. For the iConnectAudio 2+ you just need your regular Apple iPhone/iPad lightning cable.

LIFE IS SHORT, GO GET THE GEAR YOU WANT ;-)

 

 

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I have a Focusrite iTrack dock and its great. One thing to bear in mind, though, is its usb midi in only and its a bit fussy about which controllers it works with. It works fine with the Novation Launchkey 61 that I had when I bought it. Focusrite have some info on their website about what works with it here:

 

https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/articles/207546345-Which-USB-MIDI-devices-can-I-use-with-the-iTrack-Dock-

 

Thanks! The support link was helpful, i just sent an enquiry to know if itll work with my Casio MZ-X500.

 

Im just surprised there arent more ipad docks, and the only 2 available came out about 4 years ago.

 

Any reply to the Casio question? If theres a newer list Id like to know if Studiologic SL88 would be compatible, but this might have to be trial & error.

 

EDIT - just to answer my own question - SL88 is compatible. It hasn't been tested, but it's USB MIDI Class Compliant.

 

 

____________________________________
Rod

victoria bc

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I'd stay away from docking solutions due to the changing form factors between iPad generations.

 

Yup, I was going to get an Alesis dock back in the day - audio and MIDI, plus dock in one neat little package.

 

Then Apple went and switched from 30-pin to Lightning port, and moved it too. Then they moved the Lightning port again.

 

I later got a Roland audio interface, and would rather continue using that plus a mount like this for gigging:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/iPadClamp?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI49mFzu3G2QIVhYvICh37pwFTEAYYBCABEgIGUfD_BwE

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Hi Randelph

 

I have tried and own a number of iOS interfaces (original Alesis iOS dock, IK Multimedia iRig, Lexicon Omega, iConnectAudio 4+).

 

However, the "hassle" factor of hooking those things up, etc. meant that live I simply used a camera connection kit and the 1/8" audio out of the iPad, as it was the least hassle.

 

However, I recently got a Korg Plug Key and love it. It really is plug and play, and very small, with 1/4" stereo outs that feel pretty firm, and (importantly) a volume knob.

 

Although I put off buying the Plug key for months ('cause I already have all those other interfaces noted above, and it costs $100), frankly, it really is worth it, as it hits the sweet spot of functionality/ease of use/minimal size (since it is not powered, you can put it anywhere).

 

Just used it Sunday to play my iPhone at band practice, very pleased!

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